Category Archives: Entertainment

Gemmell on demonoid!

I’m amazed to find a torrent for what seems like the entire David Gemmell collection. Yes, demonoid.com is amazing. Long live demonoid.

I’ll be perfectly happy supporting those who create legendary intellectual property, such as this guy who is regarded by some as the best fantasy writer, or Rumiko Takahashi, who created the Maison Ikkoku series I’m still drooling over. But most of the earlier books by Gemmell are not in circulation locally. And it is always useful to keep a softcopy even after I get a hardcopy.

And now back to finishing Fall Of Kings from Sunny Bookstore.

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Diablo 3 is in the works!

The game I have been waiting for, for the past few years, is finally… in the works!

There are only 2 classes for now, the melee Barbarian and the summoner Witchdoctor (who resembles trolls from the Warcraft universe). The game is unlikely to be released before they have 5 classes, and they will still have to do endless fine-tuning and balancing of the classes so that there is no one super class who is very much easier to play than the others. I probably won’t get to play it before 2010, knowing how long Blizzard takes to release a game. But if the game play trailer is anything to go by, it should be worth the wait.

The 3D game engine looks to be much more immersive than the 2D engine of Diabo 2. Monsters swarming over the walls to get to you, pushing down the walls to bury mobs, falling bridges, it looks like it can really make me break out in a cold sweat if I play this in a dark room at night like I used to. The cinematic trailers are gorgeous as usual, and they really set the gothic mood of the game. But in truth, even though I have completed the game several times, using different characters, I watch the trailers only once. I know this is not going to help, but skip the trailers and get on with the game already!

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How many mages does it take to feed an army?

You know you have been playing too much WoW when questions such as this start popping up in your head.

Just a couple of months back, I think, there was a competition on which server will be the fastest to gather the resources necessary to wage war. Resources such as food, metal ores, cloths and herbs are to be gathered by players and handed in to marshals, supposedly because you need cloths to make bandages, herbs to brew potions and ores to make weapons and armour. Eating food while resting helps players recover from injuries more rapidly.

Now, mages in WoW are able to conjure food and water to help themselves replenish their health and mana after combat. In case you are not familiar with WoW, mana is used to cast spells and drinking water helps recover mana when resting, hence the ability to conjure food and water can be useful. So how many mages will you need to feed your army if you are fighting a war? Given that these conjured items will disappear 15 min after the mage logs out, you cannot stockpile them but have to produce as you need them. So how quickly can a mage conjure and pass them on to other players who need them?

This part of the equation is easier to answer than how large your army is. A player can pass on items to another player by trading. The trade window has 6 slots, so you can pass a maximum of 6 items to another player at a time. A mage can therefore generate 3 stacks of food and 3 stacks of water and pass to another player before stopping to drink some water and replenish his own mana. The other player will then have to help distribute the supplied to other needy players. This way, you need keep the minimum number of mages producing food and water.

Now to carry out the experiment. I have a level 24 mage who can conjure a stack of 20 pieces of bread in 3 seconds and a stack of 20 flasks of water in 3 seconds, and is able to easily conjure 4 stacks of each, pass on to the next person and still have some time to rest. Assuming there is no lag. Assuming low level bread and water is enough, because I’m not sure how much high level foodstuff I can produce when I’m level 60. Anyway I won’t want to keep a high level mage doing the logistics if I can help it.

So how many people can the 6 stacks feed and how many do you need to feed? That’s a tough question. Anyone want to give a try?

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Childrens’ Week

Part of the charm of playing WoW is that there is a team of game developers who will periodically releasing new content to keep things fun for their players who have completed all the existing quests several times over already. Season quests will reflect real-life events, such as Christmas, Lunar New Year, Easter and now, Childrens’ Week.

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Servant of Razelikh

In the online game the World of Warcraft, the players can choose to play the Alliance (the good guys, the light) or the Horde (the evil ones). Whenever players from one side enter the territory of the other, there will be an alert that the particular area is under attack. The invader may be challenged by players from the other side, and can be defeated if attacked by multiple enemies. Thus I have not seen “Stormwind is under attack!” because it is one of the home cities of the Alliance and is always filled with players. The horde enters at its peril.

It is very surprising when I find a swarm of players in the Trade District attacking a single enemy, and amazingly, it is not dying! See the screenshots.

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This guy is cursed with up to 10 different negative bonuses and attacked by 20 players, some at the maximum level 60, and still would not die. Apparently, it is a mob (a game character, a computer-controlled enemy) and not a player. As part of a quest, this enemy will not die until the quest is completed and somehow it was sucked in from the Blasted Lands. I had to go quite far away before I was considered out of combat and was allowed to log off.

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